Kerala rains
Products of farmers from about 30 panchayats in Ernakulam district are being displayed at the fair, which will end on Monday.

In a bid to help farmers who have incurred losses due to the devastating rains that lashed the state in the past two weeks, the Kerala Agricultural Officers Association has started a fair for these farmers to sell their products.

The two-day fair kicked off at Marine Drive in Kochi on Sunday for the flood hit farmers of Ernakulam district. The initiative will be started in other districts if the event becomes a success.

Speaking to TNM, Shajan Mathew, state president of the association said that the initiative is aimed at compensating the farmers for the losses incurred by them. “Basically, we have given a platform to the farmers to sell their products at a premium price – more than the normal price – so that they can compensate their losses from the few products that they have got undamaged in the rains. Since this is similar to donating for flood-hit people, people will not mind buying even if the products are priced a little higher,” said Shajan.

The officials are also providing free shipping of the products from the farms to the venue at Marine Drive. Products of farmers from about 30 panchayats in Ernakulam district are being displayed at the fair which will end on Monday.

Organisers also added that no products which are displayed at the stall will be given back unsold to the farmers.

“We hope that people will respond positively to the initiative but even if it does not pick up as expected, we have collaborated with Kerala Hotels and Restaurant Association. They will help to sell the products of the farmers at a premium price,” added Shajan.

The fair was inaugurated on Sunday morning by state Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar.

Organisers of the event also said that they hope the government will help to expand the initiative to other districts. “The minister talked positively about the initiative, so we hope that the government will take up the project in other districts. Last year, when we initiated a similar project to help restore farmlands to flood-hit farmers in the state, the government had taken up the project and many more farmers benefitted than what we had planned initially,” he said.